This is what February 13th looks like from Hawaii at Waihe’e Beach, Maui. (pronounced why-hay-A)
We walked around the bend seen in this picture, then set our picnic down in our usual place. I turned around and was surprised to see this wonderful rainbow stretching the sky behind me.
The weather cleared to almost full sun, mid-70’s, and the water was warm enough for a long soak after a brief shock of cold when first diving in.
Waihe’e is one of our favorite beaches here so far. It’s a reasonable drive and usually quiet. Today it was just the two of us and a whale we saw breach the surface out past the reefs. The wave break you see in the photo (where all the white topped waves are) stretches a very long ways and provides a protected area for swimming, floating, and snorkeling year round.
So far at Waihe’e we’ve now seen many various aquatic life, a sea turtle, a monk seal, and the humpback whale.
A long, meditative rest followed by a good soak in the ocean left me feeling recharged and somewhat centered for the first time in weeks.
The new year has been one of great healing for me, but this is a painful healing of old emotional wounds, both from before I was ill and after, that have their thorns in daily life. It has left me drained and on the edge of slipping back into the crash of November/December. Though it is frustrating to have had only a week or so in early January where I felt as though the crash was finally lifting, it is hard to find fault when the culprit is healing.
Healing is not always easy or happy making, but as long as one is willing to embrace it, then with time you will find a rainbow has sneaked up behind you to brighten your day.
I could not have imagined a winter as warm as this. Today has felt more like summer than it has winter. Around Christmas we had 3 weeks of Autumn-like weather – seems that was our winter!
Along with the warm weather is more air pollution in the winter from VOG – volcanic gasses which are heavy in sulfur. They tend to linger at times due to lower Trade Winds and cause the air to feel heavier, more polluted. How polluted? Well, I’d take VOG any day over all the wood smoke we’d have this time of year in Washington. Not to mention the presto logs – those things were toxic to be stuck downwind in their smoke! On the other hand, we are more sluggish on VOG days and it can cause headaches at night for me.
Sunshine – we are in the midst of a lovely period of sunny weather. Weeks of it even!
I remember in Washington we had two warm winters when the winds came up from Hawaii bringing sunshine and zero snow. We always daydreamed about how wonderful it would be to live someplace where it was always that warm – now that I’m here I must say it’s a fair bit warmer than I would have believed possible!
T-shirts and shorts are the norm and still you’ll find yourself a bit hot by noon. I love it!
In fact, I love it so much that I did something today which exemplifies winter in Hawaii better than anything else I could say at this point.
I went skinny dipping in the ocean!
It’s been years since I last stripped off my clothes and hopped into a body of water. Doing so today felt like gaining back a small part of myself which was lost when illness struck.
I may still be tired and sick, but I can swim naked in the ocean with the warm sun upon me like a younger me once enjoyed.
That makes me happy.
Imagine living 20 minutes away from here:
Imagine sitting one sunny afternoon on a sandy beach and watching the windsurfers play in the dancing waves:
Imagine feeling the spray misting from this meeting of rock and wave, blown by a sea breeze across your face:
As I sit here and imagine all this I begin to feel my eyes tear up with overwhelming emotion because for me this will be my reality in four weeks.
There is no doubt I am currently living a rare and beautiful moment in my life; when it feels like the heavens are shifting the world around me in order to lay a wondrous path at my feet.
My time is now.
My time is here.
Together, Jeremy and I are seizing this moment and riding the wave of change out from our tent and into a new life filled with sunshine.
These events are nothing short of miraculous and I thank the spiritual path I follow for guiding me here.
In life we have choices. Choosing gives us power. When we are thrust into a situation in which we have very little choice, it can leave one feeling very powerless. Thus has been my situation for the many years I’ve been homeless in this very tent.
For years we have tried to find a way out of our situation and seem to have only dug ourselves in deeper and deeper each time.
We tried to build a house – now we are in debt we can barely cover due to our increasing medical expenses, can not finish building because the majority of the money ran out years ago, and are now left with a half finished structure too toxic for us to live in.
Three years ago we started an intensive regime of supplements which did show much promise in healing us – then a misstep with adding just the wrong type of a much needed nutrient (b12) and all our hard regained health crashed around us in a matter of a few weeks. This was the instigator of the crash from which we are only just starting to pull out of finally, a full year later.
Stuck in a difficult situation, all the motivation in the world to pull yourself out of it yet chained to a body incapable of hardly even moving at times for the most basic of needs. Its enough to drive a person nuts.
While these last few months have passed by and our health declined further and further, all thoughts turned to escape from this situation, no matter the cost. I started rooting through all the ads for rental housing, day after day, looking for the “perfect” place for all our needs – super cheap, hardwood or tile floors, no fresh paint or remodeling, no pest control, no mold, no super close neighbors, no gas appliances, and a landlord willing to work with our MCS problems … in other words, looking for the near impossible.
Even assuming we found a place that matched everything, it would still have the possibility of not being right for us depending on the lifestyle of the last few tenants. If they had been incense burners, smokers, strong laundry soap users, heavy perfume wearers, or any number of other highly toxic aromatic things in daily life, then that too would rule a place out.
Yeah.. darn near impossible at this time.
And then a few weeks ago, Jeremy and I came upon a Choice.
We could keep going crazy looking for an exit to the cage we found ourselves in these last eight years or find within ourselves the key to dissolving the cage bars surrounding us and finally be free again.
I am not entirely sure how we found the ability to liberate our minds from the cage, thus freeing our souls, but I do know it started with a choice to stay.
All these years I never felt like it was by my own choosing to be here in a tent. It was always circumstance that forced my hand, left me no other options. Left me powerless.
As simple as it seems, we decided that barring unforeseen changes we would stay here for the next solid year, work very diligently and without deviation from a healing plan we wrote out that day, and most importantly – we made a choice to stop pacing the confines of the cage but to instead embrace the life around us as our own.
And with that we were freed.
I had a nice surprise yesterday. My friend Jody Smith over at Ncubator passed the Happiness Award on to me. Thanks for the award Jody, I shall see if I can spread some cheer in kind!
Without further ado – on with the show!
The rules for the Happiness Award:
1.) When you have received this award you must thank the person that awarded you this in the new post.
2.) Name 10 things that make you happy.
3.) Pass this award onto other bloggers and inform the winners.
Rule number 1 – check! Muchas Gracias la Senora Jody… and with many festive hugs!
Rule 2 – As it is my style to be ramble along, this may end up a bit longer than just 10 things. Hope the award doesn’t get revoked for me already breaking the rules! I’m such a rebel! In no order:Being surprised with flowers Jeremy finds and picks because he knows I love getting them.
Little race car, baby bunnies who dart back and forth under our tarps at night because its the only dry place to play.
A hot cup of cocoa made by my sweetie.
Planting onion seeds on May Day that a friend had sent from Australia, despite the customs restrictions against doing so. (no worries, they will not grow well enough to be invasive in the spot I garden)
Having more friends who are in foreign lands than those who are from my own country – no wonder I never fully fit in here!A sun warmed rock to lay topless on and sing off key very loudly while soaking up the heat of a beautiful day.
Hearing the geese circling overhead while trying to figure out which way is North every spring. First gaggle of them was yesterday and it always means summer isn’t far behind!
Cuddling up with Jeremy to watch The Muppets together.
A really good movie that we have saved for a few months until just the right occasion to see it for the first time.
Poking fun at my friend Grant when we instant chat, he’s such a good sport about it! *Poke!*
Finding odd little animals, like salamanders and tree frogs, who make in front of our tent their home for a night before moving on the next day. I love having animals feel safe here for the night.
Watching first the parent birds come to feed at our oat pile in front of the tent and then later the fledgling birds. Mom and Pop have to teach them how to eat and its exciting as they learn not to eat rocks but instead the food.
A hot shower outside while big, fat snowflakes are falling all around me. Along with this is listening to the hush of snowfall and watching it blanket the woods.
Jeremy reading to me every night before bed.
Watching my garden sprout from seed, grow, and then fill our bellies.
Clear nights with many stars.
The rare days when I wake up feeling refreshed and good.
Daydreaming of all the things I will be able to do, because I will be getting well again.
Listening to the birds signing every morning. Also with this would be the owls hooting at night near us and coyotes howling at the moon.
Last for this list and saved for the end because it is the very best – Jeremy. All the wonderful things he does, his love and kindness, and his fight to never give up seeing us through everything that comes our way.
Rule number 3. I’ve had a bit of a hard time deciding who to pass this on to as I know several other bloggers who immediately sprang to mind for this. I will send this award on to Laurel of Dreams at Stake because she never stops fighting and keeps finding ways to pass that strength on to others.
That’s it for this brief… er… wander down the lane of Lisa’s happiness!
Living in the woods as we have been these last seven years sounds very daunting. Indeed, at times it makes me look back and wonder how we have managed to survive as well as we have. The first things that come to mind like this all involve winter and the times our usually mild climate here in the Pacific Northwest, isn’t so mild.
But even in the midst of all this, I still take time to pause for a moment and look around me. There is so much beauty to behold here. So very much that would never be seen were I not living this close to nature.
The chance sighting of a turkey hanging out in the bushes less than fifteen feet from our window is one of these occurrences. It was the rustling sound that drew my attention to it. A sound that would have been much fainter had I been behind the straw and glass walls of my house. There it was, just looking at me as I looked back. Both of us seemed to wonder what the other was doing here, because to each other we were equally out of place. Quietly he turned and continued on his way, in no hurry to where he was going but definitely having a destination in mind.
What a turkey was doing in our woods I’ll never know. It was a few weeks before one of the turkey holidays last fall, so we assumed that the he took his life into his own hands and decided not to be dinner for one of our neighbors. The calmness of that turkey is what stays with me more than anything. He was so very calm, as though knowing the direction fate had planned for him but with great dignity deciding to change that direction.
In the last several weeks, I have been feeling this change come about me and how I view the world around me. Oddly, though I still have no options as to how I will be living indoors by first snow this winter, I find myself becoming nostalgic about my years here as though I am already moving on.
Taking more opportunities to pause for a moment when I find myself outside and just breathe in the scent of pine and cedar. Stopping to listen to the wind whispering through the canopy above me or to watch the play of light on a falling leaf. The little rustles of small birds searching for a meal in the underbrush and the way they then dance on our tarp roof while taking a bath in some leftover rain water pooled there. And remembering that hush that falls over the woods when snow begins to fall, quietly blanketing everything into a new and pristine world.
I will miss being this close to nature when I am gone.